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I just got off the phone with my mom’s mechanic.   Her 21 year old Honda will have the transmission pump suddenly fail sometime between tomorrow and next year.   Repair is the same before or after failure (buy a rebuilt transmission), it also needs an oil pan gasket.    

Replacement vehicle requirements:  AWD;  Easy to use electronics;  comfortable upright seats are essential for various ortho problems.    She liked my 2011 explorer limited seats, hates the focus seats.    Driving will be about town.   Headlights are optional.    The only dealer she is comfortable driving to alone for warranty or recalls is Ford.    Non warranty work can be done by a nearby shop she trusts.   Electric would be an option, the fuse box is in the garage so a charging station would be easy.    I have the luxury of an unknown time period to look and wait for microchips.   It will only run about 5000 miles per year, so any modern make under 40,000 miles has sufficient reliability.    She doesn’t like driving and has friends drive her when possible.

I looked at CRV but didn’t like the seats.   I didn’t go to a Honda dealer, only high mileage ones turn up at the Ford deader for trade in.

The Edge has better seats then Escape, the SE / SES trim levels are good.    The Edge is a bit big / carbon footprint, but would take about as much garage space as her current sedan.    Ford has good safety technology.   Availability is poor new but some trickle in used.   

I liked the Buick Encore Gx.   The labels on the climate control were small but the touch screen is easy to use.   Entry and exit was easy.   They have new and almost new available.

I liked a Rav 4 rental a couple years ago, but the seat may be too car like for her.    It handles Iceland winter great with snow tires.    It’s touch screen is intuitive enough I was able to change the language from Icelandic to English while jet lagged.  

Post sail questions:   Anybody have experience with the Buick?   Any other vehicles to put on the short list?   I’ll probably get a short list for her to look at here, then take her back to Indiana in the new vehicle, to save time.    Maybe I’ll try to stall until fall.
 

 

 

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Whatever you get should have all the latest stuff. 
 

I got a Subaru for the collision avoidance, cross-traffic alert when backing up , blind spot warning -etc. 

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15 minutes ago, Snore said:

Whatever you get should have all the latest stuff. 
 

I got a Subaru for the collision avoidance, cross-traffic alert when backing up , blind spot warning -etc. 

That’s an area I could use advice.    She is comfortable using an iPad, but not technology driven.   She panicked when the collision avoidance alarm sounded on the explorer.   She hates to drive but only had one accident behind the wheel, somebody was looking at the gas station line during the OPEC crises.    She was recently injured as a passenger in my brother’s Subaru, we were all glad it was in a modern vehicle with curtain air bags.    She suffered permanent knee damage as it is.   So how do you find the electronic gizmos for being a feature instead of a distraction?   The GF’s Toyota always seem a generation behind Ford.   She wrecks a lot of Toyotas.   I always forget to turn them off when towing a boat, so they just annoy me backing up.   I’m not sure what Buick offers.  Subaru is on the list, a dealer isn’t real convenient to me.

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You don't mention price, and you say the charging station "would be easy", despite that being thousands of dollars, so here goes--

My wife's caddy XT6 is the safest, most technologically advanced car i've ever driven regularly.  Its available in AWD.  It has the the most comfortable seats (by a longshot) of any car I've owned.  All of the annoying warning systems can be easily disabled.  Its a large vehicle, but not too large (but can be ordered with a 3rd row of seats that actually will fit 2 adults...)  Mom deserves something nice! Worth a test drive at least.

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33 minutes ago, M@AYC said:

You don't mention price, and you say the charging station "would be easy", despite that being thousands of dollars, so here goes--

My wife's caddy XT6 is the safest, most technologically advanced car i've ever driven regularly.  Its available in AWD.  It has the the most comfortable seats (by a longshot) of any car I've owned.  All of the annoying warning systems can be easily disabled.  Its a large vehicle, but not too large (but can be ordered with a 3rd row of seats that actually will fit 2 adults...)  Mom deserves something nice! Worth a test drive at least.

Thanks for the thought, but my folls were always down to earth with cars, treating them as consumables.   I don’t think I can get her to go for a premium brand, unless it’s a wine.

I like electric because she could skip oil changes and other service work.   I think I’m a year or two too early to make that practical.   Charging ports will probably be demanded for home sales in a few years, like air conditioning is now.

24 minutes ago, Great Red Shark said:

Twenty grand buys a lot of Uber rides.

 

I’m not going there.   My brother was in the dog house for weeks when he suggested she risk herself in an uber since he couldn’t get off work.   

 

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We got a 2018 forested a few years back.  Wife is short, and like the higher up seating.   Got the tricked out all gizmos.  Not too intrusive but very welcome.

i had a 2013 Ford cmax(discontinued in 2018). Went 100k with no problem before it got totaled.  Now driving a 2015 cmax energi(plug in hybrid).  20.miles all electric   Similar floor pan to the escape. Not as high up seating,  but better than a sedan.  

Down side to electric, is remembering to plug in.  I’ve forgotten several times with very low fuel level.  Was able to gas and go.  But.  Still something to think about.

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Forester sounds like the right fit. The latest models with the large touchscreens may be not quite right though. Subaru has a long ways to go on getting the UX sorted out. I miss physical buttons for simple things like seat heat, AC, fan etc. All the new safety features are Ok, but they end up being near as much distraction as assistance. Would worry they may cause more stress than help. 

 

if you can find a 2018 at a good price grab it. 

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How old is she? I confess to using YouTube videos to figure out how to do settings on my Accord, lol, but expect to be driving until true autonomy is here.  The lane departure warnings, collision avoidance etc ARE adrenaline rushes firt times if you don't expect them. Whatever short list you come up,up,, be prepared to explain those settings.. sometimes it's annoying having those ldw beeps unfairly going off but still, better than I wander into a lane unawares so I don't  turn it off. Settings for the backup camera are another source of frustration...how wide or narrow to set the view. And how to change it back after the mechanic switches it. Also review the warning lights. Low tire pressure, oil level, etc. 

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3 hours ago, Great Red Shark said:

Twenty grand buys a lot of Uber rides.

 

 

How many years worth, if you do five a days a week for under 5 miles and back, and stay home and bike, kayak, or drive a cheap beater on the weekend?? 
 

I'g guessing, cheap beater, Mope, bicycle is less costly, but some not doable in cold winter Nor'east months........

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My wife and I just bought a Honda Civic to replace her 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid. Both front wheel drive, not 4wd

I am not into car love, but both great vehicles as long as you value gas mileage and comfort and safety more than you value being able to pull a boat & trailer. Fusion hybrid got ~40mpg, less on the highway (paradox of being a hybrid), the Civic is getting ~45 and up.

- DSK

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-This is a go to store, go to doctor, go to pool and go to park vehicle for a 5’8” 76 year old.  Between scoliosis, fused vertebrae surgery last year and a blown posterior (non surgical knee) cruciate from a car accident last year, sitting is painful and getting up hard.   She swims half a mile 2-3 times a week to keep walking.    She never liked to drive.    Worse yet, she’s driven the same car for 21 years.   She’s used to it.

 With her limited driving, fuel efficiency is less important.   After watching my grandmother replace a LeSabre with a Tempo when I was a kid, I’d rather mom drove a small vehicle for the future.  4wd is a must since she can’t shovel snow and the  plow service isn’t perfect.   SUV style and upright seats are easier for her to get in and out of.    Climbing up from the Accord is hard.   She thought my Explorer was easier this summer.

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6 hours ago, Great Red Shark said:

Twenty grand buys a lot of Uber rides.

 

First thing I thought too...add in no insurance, registration, ongoing maintenance...no brainer...

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Get her a low-mileage full service history previous model Forester. Less hi-tech, less confusion. By the last years of a model run, they usually have sorted out any bugs, not that I'm aware of any problems with Foresters.

My SIL is on her third one, with no problems at all. Upright seat, good viz and easy in/out was a big priority for her too. 

 

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38 minutes ago, Happy said:

Get her a low-mileage full service history previous model Forester.

An older family member had a Subaru Leone, 2-door.  It had 360K on it and was starting to use oil so he decided to do a rebuild. 

He bought a de-lipping tool, rings, bearings, honing tool.

He pulled it down and could not find anything out of spec, no lip on the bore, bearings were fine, the only thing they could find was hardened and leaky valve stem seals.  Replaced those, reassembled it and it was all good.  Very Impressive engines when they are well serviced.

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10 hours ago, Lark said:

-This is a go to store, go to doctor, go to pool and go to park vehicle for a 5’8” 76 year old.  Between scoliosis, fused vertebrae surgery last year and a blown posterior (non surgical knee) cruciate from a car accident last year, sitting is painful and getting up hard.   She swims half a mile 2-3 times a week to keep walking.    She never liked to drive.    Worse yet, she’s driven the same car for 21 years.   She’s used to it.

 With her limited driving, fuel efficiency is less important.   After watching my grandmother replace a LeSabre with a Tempo when I was a kid, I’d rather mom drove a small vehicle for the future.  4wd is a must since she can’t shovel snow and the  plow service isn’t perfect.   SUV style and upright seats are easier for her to get in and out of.    Climbing up from the Accord is hard.   She thought my Explorer was easier this summer.

My parents 80+ just traded the VW van in for an Atlas.  (I know dumb) but they got all the bells and whistles.  I turned all that crap off, but it is a godsend for them.  The lane departure thing is anoying, but it helps dad...  The parking sensors help him a ton and the backup camera has done what it is supposed to do.  Piece of mind is good too..    

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Fixing the old Honda makes more sense considering the prices of low mileage used cars these days. My 79 year old mom likes her 2018 Rav4 a lot, but she admitted to me the other day she will likely need to stop driving within a few years. 

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28 minutes ago, MisterMoon said:

Fixing the old Honda makes more sense considering the prices of low mileage used cars these days. My 79 year old mom likes her 2018 Rav4 a lot, but she admitted to me the other day she will likely need to stop driving within a few years. 

In my experience, that's kind of like the old saying about when it's time to reef: the moment you think about the conditions under which you should reef. If your mom is talking about needing to stop driving in a few years, it's probably because she's already had a few scares. Have you been a passenger in her car recently?

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15 minutes ago, IStream said:

In my experience, that's kind of like the old saying about when it's time to reef: the moment you think about the conditions under which you should reef. If your mom is talking about needing to stop driving in a few years, it's probably because she's already had a few scares. Have you been a passenger in her car recently?

Good point. 

 

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+1 on the Forester. The wife has a 2016. She would like the newer one for the collision avoidance gizmos but we will have to wait a few years.

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11 hours ago, Lark said:

she’s driven the same car for 21 years.   She’s used to it.

I've loved my Subarus, so would echo the support for that idea...  maybe a used one from before touchscreens.  But...  The above comment made me wonder if there's a simple answer...  Can you find a used vehicle of the same make and model (presumably several years newer though) as her old one?  If she loved it, why change?

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I'm with @MisterMoon, fix it.

Used car pricing is nutty.  And in my opinion about to fall off a cliff once all the chip shortage stuff gets sorted in 6 months.  And you are talking about buying trade ins at a dealer.  Ouch.

5 k a year... You can get tons more from the current car.  And she likes it.  And may/may not keep up the 5k pace in years to come.

Put in a used transmission (from a wreck if you can find it)  and fix the pan gasket at the same time.

 

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Mom's Ford Escape is dead from 15 years in Mn winters (salt) so we're giving her my wife's car, 2013 Acura RDX. 100k miles and still drives like new. It's a honda, yeah?

Upright ala SUV, yeah, takes premium fuel, who cares?

Damn, just looked at used car prices. WTF?

 

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Don’t put good money in to it.It’s 21 years old it’s time to put it to pasture. I had to do that in February,My 18year old s10 with 287,000 needed a new clutch and I just could not come off the cheddar to do it.

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On 6/23/2021 at 3:29 PM, Lark said:

That’s an area I could use advice.    She is comfortable using an iPad, but not technology driven.   She panicked when the collision avoidance alarm sounded on the explorer.   She hates to drive but only had one accident behind the wheel, somebody was looking at the gas station line during the OPEC crises.    She was recently injured as a passenger in my brother’s Subaru, we were all glad it was in a modern vehicle with curtain air bags.    She suffered permanent knee damage as it is.   So how do you find the electronic gizmos for being a feature instead of a distraction?   The GF’s Toyota always seem a generation behind Ford.   She wrecks a lot of Toyotas.   I always forget to turn them off when towing a boat, so they just annoy me backing up.   I’m not sure what Buick offers.  Subaru is on the list, a dealer isn’t real convenient to me.

 

Let me start with some background.  I like technology, when it works.  Ran some big computer projects as "smart user" when I had a real job, and am fairly skilled in boat electronics.   But all this stuff can easily piss me off.   I do not drive 5-6,000 miles a year.  I live in downtown St. Petersburg, and walk everywhere.  For the last few years, my master's license has way more miles on it than my driver's license.

 

With that background, here are my thoughts on various features:

Lane Departure Alert: It is amazing how many time the 'normal' person departs from, or almost departs from their lane.  It can be annoying.  But - then again "Straighten up and fly right" seems to apply.

 

Front Collision Avoidance:  Aside from approaching a parking spot too fast at McDonalds because I have to pee- it works well.  The car and I sometime disagree if braking was really needed in certain situations.  When I need to swing around a car (sorta cut them off?), the car can get an attitude.  Well I guess it should.

 

Blind Spot Alert: handy, although when I had a CDL I learned to eliminate blind spots by adjusting mirrors.  When looking ahead, the little light lets me know someone is along side.

 

Cross Traffic Alert and camera when backing: LOVE IT- at 66 the bones are a little stiff.  I now look in the camera first, if it looks clear, I use the MK1 eyeball before moving the car.

 

Adaptive Cruise Control:  I don't know how I lived before it.  When I rent a car I am pissed if it does not have adaptive cruise control.   The Subaru system will take the car to a full stop and when traffic starts, tap the gas and it paces the car in front again.  What is rather upsetting is that both the front collision avoidance and the adaptive cruise control use IR.  So when it is raining FLA hard, or if I am driving into a bright sun, the systems cut out.  Obviously, those are times it would be nice to have them.

 

Traction Control:  Ok this one pisses me off.  If I am doing 40 on a 30 mph entry ramp and I see an opening- I begin accelerating as I straighten the wheel.  The car overrides my input and drives conservatively. 

 

Eyes on the Road Alarm: This is another one that pisses me off.  It keeps alerting even when I am looking ahead.

 

Whew!!!  That is the full briefing.  

Candidly, at 66 I know my reaction time is off a tad.  When I go forward in rough seas, I have to go a 1/2 step slower.  Driving over 100 scares me- so I stopped.  But 90 is nice!

 

Suggest presenting to your mom that this technology will help her keep her freedom by compensating for her bodies natural aging...... Well maybe you shouldn't be that direct, but you catch my drift.

 

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8 hours ago, MisterMoon said:

Fixing the old Honda makes more sense considering the prices of low mileage used cars these days. My 79 year old mom likes her 2018 Rav4 a lot, but she admitted to me the other day she will likely need to stop driving within a few years. 

I considered that as well.    The body is solid and there  aren't any 'speed holes'.    A rebuilt transmission is still available.    Soon parts will be hard to find.   Curtain airbags and such might make a big difference.   Changing cars now is overcoming fear and habit.   Mentally she has no problems.   I recommended brakes and other repairs (a couple thousand) two years ago because she was dealing with my Dad's death and didn't need more disruption.    I hoped to wait past the microchip shortage.   I think its time to shop with a target of replacement before first frost, and a short list to buy quickly if the transmission dies before then.   

 

7 hours ago, Your Mom said:

I've loved my Subarus, so would echo the support for that idea...  maybe a used one from before touchscreens.  But...  The above comment made me wonder if there's a simple answer...  Can you find a used vehicle of the same make and model (presumably several years newer though) as her old one?  If she loved it, why change?

The sedan is hard for her to climb out of with a blown knee.   Since the HOA doesn't plow her division very well she wants her first 4wd.   She's open to change now, so its a good time.    I just looked at a coworkers Subaru, since so many here recommend them.    Its a real contender.    A 300,000 mile engine's overkill.   If she gets a car with 40,000 miles on it, and doesn't change her driving habits, it won't even be due for new plugs and wires in 2031.  This purchase is all about ergonomics and the car that will keep her independent the longest.   

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Be careful with the new car. I had bad knees, nor have fake ones. Some vehicles have a high step up to get in, said step being quite narrow. I see this in the Uber rides I get. Similarly getting out seems tricky compared to a sedan.

I have a 7 year old 2 door Accord that replaced its 2000 predecessor. 

The way to get in and out is sit sideways on the far back  seat, swivel feet forward, pull seat up. Power seat is easy, it remembers where you want to go.  Sliding in sideways is painful. 

I don't use a bag, leather seat slides 

 

 

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Ford Edge AWD, we’re on our second one. You can get them fairly spartan to fully loaded with all the fancy tech. Bought a CPO (now called blue advantage or something) 2018 Titanium with every option but the engine block heater for $25000 a few months ago after our 2013 was totaled. Seats are higher than a car but she won’t have to climb in. Many available with less equipment under $20k if that’s her budget, highly recommended vehicle and excellent crash safety: the 2013 was t-boned by a stop sign running Suburban doing 50mph. Wife had to be pried out but she was fine. And your mom already likes the Ford dealer, so there’s that.

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These Fords seem like ok little cars for the money but, God bless you if you can drive one of those things.  Not a fan of the styling, but to each his own. The little plastic gear shit toggle thing, my goodness, i couldnt imagine.  my father and brother both have had several edge's, etc.  drive trains seem decent but weird electrical problems and dad's 2017 Edge just totally stopped on I94 going 80 one day, for no apparent reason.

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22 hours ago, Lark said:

I considered that as well.    The body is solid and there  aren't any 'speed holes'.    A rebuilt transmission is still available.    Soon parts will be hard to find.   Curtain airbags and such might make a big difference.   Changing cars now is overcoming fear and habit.   Mentally she has no problems.   I recommended brakes and other repairs (a couple thousand) two years ago because she was dealing with my Dad's death and didn't need more disruption.    I hoped to wait past the microchip shortage.   I think its time to shop with a target of replacement before first frost, and a short list to buy quickly if the transmission dies before then.   

 

The sedan is hard for her to climb out of with a blown knee.   Since the HOA doesn't plow her division very well she wants her first 4wd.   She's open to change now, so its a good time.    I just looked at a coworkers Subaru, since so many here recommend them.    Its a real contender.    A 300,000 mile engine's overkill.   If she gets a car with 40,000 miles on it, and doesn't change her driving habits, it won't even be due for new plugs and wires in 2031.  This purchase is all about ergonomics and the car that will keep her independent the longest.   

 

Subaru Crosstrek is a small SUV, rebodied Imprezza, with same floor pan, running gear, and higher ground clearance, and higher seating position, so might be an option. Only thing I didn't like about ours was low power, at 150 HP, so I traded for a WRX.  Subaru's last a long time, have excellent resale or trade-in, if you're not happy with it, and reasonable maintenance costs.

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